It's All My Fault: I Provoked Him

Uploaded 9/27/2011, approx. 3 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

How often have you heard the following phrases coupled with most horrific, physical, verbal, and psychological abuse?

It's only your fault. You made me do it.

Or, look what you made me do.

Abusers have alloplastic defenses and external locus of control.

Related into proper English, this means that they tend to blame others for their misfortunes, mistakes, and misconduct.

Abusers believe that the world is a hostile place out to get them, and that there is little they can do to mitigate and ameliorate their failures and defeats.

Their acts and choices are brought on by other people's malevolence, negligence, and stupidity.

Abusers regard themselves, therefore, as eternal victims.

The problem starts when the true victims, often the abusers' so-called nearest and dearest, adopt the abusers' point of view and begin to feel guilty and responsible for the abusers' reprehensible behaviors.

This folie deux, laterally in French, madness into some. This shared psychosis is very common.

Victims and abusers form symbolic diets, they abrogate reality, they give up on it, and they share the same delusions.

The abuser and his victim allocate roles. The victim triggers the abuse and deserves it. The abuser is merely a hapless tool devoid of volition and with an absent impulse control.

But why would anyone succumb to such a patently fallacious view of the world? Why would anyone, any victim, assume the guilt for her own torture and maltreatment?

Shared psychosis is a complex phenomenon with numerous psychodynamic roots.

Some victims fear abandonment and would do anything to placate their abusive intimate partners. Other victims grew up in dysfunctional families and they are familiar and comfortable with abuse. Abuse is their comfort zone.

Some victims are simply masochistic. They like the pain inflicted on them. Other victims want to make the relationship work at any cost to themselves.

Fear plays a big part too. Sometimes the only way not to provoke another onslaught of abuse is by playing by the abuser's rules.

So what can you do about it?

Start by realizing a few crucial facts.

And these are facts supported by reams of research and mountain ranges of court decisions.

The victim, not the perpetrator. These should be your mantras.

Your abuser does not love you.

Abuse and love are antonyms. Abuse is never a form of expressing love.

Next, try to figure out why you have acquiesced to your abuser's behavior. Are you anxious that he may abandon you if you stand up for yourself? Are you scared that the abuse may escalate if you resist him? Do you feel helpless? Have you always felt helpless? Or is this learned helplessness encouraged by the abuser in medications?

Are you truly alone? Or do you have supportive friends and family? What about the authorities? Do you trust them to protect you? And if not, why not do you have a bad experience with them?

Analyze a relationship. Can you reframe your roles? Are you sufficiently strong to put a stop to the abuse by opposing conditions, imposing sanctions and acting on infringements?

Is couple therapy an option?

If you have answered no to any of these three questions, you are better off without your abuser.

Start looking for a way out. Plan the getaway in detail. Share your intentions with friends, family and trusted co-workers. Then act on your plan.

Remember, the world never comes to an end when relationships do.

But abuse can, very often does, become deadly.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Good People Ignore Abuse and Torture: Why?

Good people often overlook abuse and neglect because it is difficult to tell the abuser and victim apart. The word abuse is ill-defined and open to interpretation, leading to a lack of clear definition. People also tend to avoid unpleasant situations and institutions that deal with anomalies, pain, death, and illness. Abuse is a coping strategy employed by the abuser to reassert control over their life and regain self-confidence. Abuse is a catharsis, and even good people channel their negative emotions onto the victim.

Body Language of Narcissistic and Psychopathic Abuser

Abusers emit subtle signals in their body language that can be observed and discerned. They adopt a posture of superiority and entitlement, and they idealize or devalue their interlocutors. Abusers are shallow and prefer show-off to substance, and they are serious about themselves. They lack empathy, are sadistic, and have inappropriate affect. They are adept at casting a veil of secrecy over their dysfunction and misbehavior, and they succeed in deceiving the entire world.

The Abuser's Mind

Abusers suffer from dissociation, a mild form of multiple personality, and often have a dichotomy between their behavior at home and in public. They view their victims as two-dimensional representations, devoid of emotions and needs, and convert them into their own worldview. Abusers are often narcissists with low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence, and abuse is bred by fear of being mocked or betrayed. There are various forms of manipulation that constitute verbal and emotional abuse, including withholding, countering, discounting, blocking, blaming, and accusing.

Gaslighting and Ambient Abuse

Ambient abuse, also known as gaslighting, is a subtle and insidious form of abuse that is difficult to identify. It is the fostering of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability, and irritation. There are five categories of ambient abuse: inducing disorientation, incapacitating, shared psychosis, abuse or misuse of information, and control by proxy. The abuser uses these tactics to manipulate and control their victim, often leaving them with low self-esteem and a sense of isolation.

Bullying as Art, Abuse as Craftsmanship

Abuse is about control and is often a primitive and immature reaction to life's circumstances. The abuser's primary colors include unpredictability, disproportionality of reaction, dehumanization, objectification, and abuse by proxy. The abuser engineers situations in which he is solely needed and generates his own indispensability in the victim's life. The abuser fosters an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability, and irritation, which erodes the victim's sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

Coping Styles: Narcissist Abuses "Loved" Ones Despite Abandonment Anxiety

Narcissists abuse their loved ones to decrease their abandonment anxiety, restore their sense of grandiosity, and test their partner's loyalty. Abuse also serves as a form of behavior modification, as it signals to the partner that they need to modify their behavior to avoid abuse. Coping styles for dealing with abuse include submissiveness, conflicting, mirroring, collusion, and displacement, but some of these styles can be harmful and should be avoided.

Narcissistic Abuser Cons System

Abusers are often able to deceive mental health and social welfare workers, even when the diagnosis is unequivocal. There are four types of mental health and law enforcement professionals and practitioners who can be co-opted by abusers: adulators, ignorant professionals, self-deceivers, and those who are actively deceived. Mental health professionals are often egocentric and emotionally invested in their opinions, and they may pathologize the behavior of victims who disagree with them. Victims of abuse may need to stage a well-calibrated performance to convince therapists that they are the victim.

Narcissist's Reactions to Abandonment, Separation, and Divorce

Narcissistic abusers often resort to self-delusion when faced with the dissolution of a meaningful relationship. They may adopt a masochistic avoidance solution, punishing themselves for their failure, or construct a delusional narrative in which they are the hero. Some may become antisocial psychopaths, while others develop persecutory delusions and withdraw completely from social contact, becoming schizoids. Finally, some abusers resort to an aggressive stance, becoming verbally, psychologically, and sometimes physically abusive towards loved ones.

Spot a Narcissist or a Psychopath on Your First Date

There are warning signs to identify abusers and narcissists early on in a relationship. One of the first signs is the abuser's tendency to blame others for their mistakes and failures. Other signs include hypersensitivity, eagerness to commit, controlling behavior, patronizing and condescending manner, and devaluing the partner. Abusers may also idealize their partner, have sadistic sexual fantasies, and switch between abusive and loving behavior. Paying attention to body language can also reveal warning signs.

Narcissist's 10 Body Postures, Psychopath's Physique

The text discusses the body language and body image of narcissists and psychopaths. It delves into the complex relationship these individuals have with their bodies, including how they use body language to manipulate and control others. The text also touches on the treatability of body dysmorphic and somatoform disorders through therapy.

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